Not only is wedding season rapidly approaching….but everyone seems to know SOMEBODY that’s about to graduate too! It’s totally that time of year, and a prime celebration time for many families…including ours! We’ve got my brother John’s graduation from University coming up, as well as my cousin McKenna’s graduation from highschool!
Later next week we’ll be featuring an interactive post involving a special reader of ours and her plans for her daughter’s graduation…but for now…I’d like to take a little trip down memory lane to my OWN highschool graduation! Granted, this was (ugh, I don’t even want to admit it…) TWELVE YEARS AGO…but it was such an awesome party, and we planned and pulled it off so smoothly…I can’t wait to share a few ideas on how to make your very own Classic Italian themed graduation party! That’s the first 3P Basic: Make sure to pick a theme that’s personal to YOUR grad!
When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with Italy. The food, the fashion, the history, the music…EVERYTHING. My favorite restaurant was Buca Di Beppo, my friends and I spoke broken Italian to each other whenever we could…we even attended a dance at the local Italian American Club in Las Vegas. So, of course…it only seemed natural to theme my graduation party with a very Italian flair, and for it to be catered by none other than…you guessed it…BUCA DI BEPPO!
We had the BEST time, kept it simple, focused on fun, food, and family…and it was a night I will never ever forget. You might be wondering….how could you pull off an Italian themed grad-feast too? Well…
1. Decor is a SNAP! Pull red and green items from your Christmas Box like napkins, linens, candles, small decor items and assess what you have before you have to go and shop! Why red and green? Well not only are they very prominent colors in Italy…but they’re right there on the Italian flag itself:
2. Set the mood with music! There are awesome “oldschool” Italian albums you can buy, Mafia themed mix-CD’s, Italian Playlists on Spotify, and more. It’ll get everyone in the mood right when they walk in the door, and keep everyone singing, humming, or at the very least smiling all night! We had a great time listening to the classics on the old “Mob Hits” album! You can even order your own copy HERE!
3. Catering! I was so lucky to have Buca Di Beppo cater my graduation party…but you could contact any of your local favorite Italian restaurants to inquire about catering, once you have a budget and head count of how many guests to expect. We ordered several family style options, including my favorite Lemon Chicken! Be sure to factor is costs for food, labor, table linens, etc. In our quote, Buca Di Beppo provided themed red and white gingham table cloths as well as all tableware which contributed to our home party celebration. Everything had a professional look and was well within budget!
4. More Decor! We also collected some Chianti bottle before the big day, to add dripping candles to which definitely added a vintage European feel to the party, and I also printed old Italian movie posters and postcards which we framed and set throughout the house. The one funny decor story ended up being our balloons that we’d ordered: instead of providing us with green, red, and white…they gave us green, YELLOW and white. It looked like I was celebrating a Super Bowl win for the Green Bay Packers for a minute there…but crisis averted…we got it all sorted out. 🙂 Sometimes things happen during event planning, and you just have to roll with the punches and make do with what you’ve got. 3P Tip: Earlt set-up allows for any necessary troubleshooting!
5. Last but not least, FAVORS! We created a unique favor using pizza slicers from the Dollar Store, along with Pizza Gummies that we ordered from Fun Express! I printed my own little cards for each guest that said: “Thank you for celebrating Jessi’s Next Slice of Life!” Everyone LOVED them. You can order Gummy Pizzas HERE!
Life truly was Beautiful that night, or as they say in Italia…LA VITA E BELLA! I hope this might inspire you to have a bellisimo Grad Party for your next Grad!